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Home > Member Reviews > explore4ever's Port Reviews of Bora Bora, Moorea

explore4ever's Port Reviews of Bora Bora, Moorea
Paul Gauguin cruise in January 2011
Member Name: explore4ever
Cruise Date: January 2011
Embarkation: Papeete
Destination: South Pacific
Member Review: explore4ever's Paul Gauguin Review
Bora Bora
Port Rating: Not Rated
We ended up anchoring 3 days in Bora Bora. With high wind, the ship could not get into Rangiroa safely. The first day in Bora Bora happened to be a Sunday, when every thing was closed. The 3 of us walked around the town, and ended up walking south, passing Bloody Mary. The walk, on the map, seemed minimal, maybe 10-20 minutes. 2 hours later, we knew we were in way over our head (feet). In my mind, I was expecting to see a marina, with beautiful ships/ boats, lined up along the beautiful white sandy beach; little over-priced souvenir shops, coffee shops, pubs, lined up along tidy concrete sidewalks. That scene never showed up. Nope. It was unblemished beauty throughout. We were not really prepared for this long hike. Not the right foot wear, and not enough liquid. For those of you who choose to do this hike, stop in Bloody Mary and ask for a Bloody Mary (I heard it was just the BEST!) That is what we should have done! Instead, we tried to hitch-hike back. Fortunately, a transport bus stopped, and picked us up. We did not care how much, we just knew we could not walk back, another 2 hours?!! It costs us $20 US for 3. Oh well, that was an experience I could share with you. In the afternoon, we went over to Bora Bora Motu. Its gleaming white sand, with areas for different skill level of snorkelers—from beginner to advanced was a fantasy playground. This is where I thought there is no way I could enjoy snorkeling. The wind and strong current made us inexperienced snorkeler apprehensive. I had resolved in my mind: I will never enjoy snorkeling; however, I could still enjoy the island, the beach, and the water from dry area.

On the second day, we had pre-arranged a private tour with Maohi Nui. 12 of us for LAGOON Full Day. This tour was very memorable for me because it was also a turning point. The day before, I had resolved I was never going to enjoy snorkel. Well, this tour changed that. I actually swam with the black-tip sharks, tickled the huggy sting rays, visited the coral garden (not as much as I'd liked)! All day, I could not stop smiling and laughing! The local Polynesian BBQ was a highlight! Wonderful feast! Local cuisine! Where we had the BBQ was a quiet "private" island, with stunning view of the mountain and beautiful warm ocean to swim in. Picture perfect!

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We signed up for 2 ship excursions: underwater walk and 4X4 Safari ride.

The underwater walk was one of the best excursion I have ever experienced! small group, max 8. The guides were very gentle, and cautious. Alan noticed that my sister was carried swiftly away by the strong current, he jumped into the ocean without any hesitation trying to "rescue" my sister. Fortunately, everyone was fine.

For all those who have signed up for this underwater walk—the comments have been: you gotta try it. In an intimate ship, word of mouth is the most powerful. No doubt in my mind this is the reason why this particular excursion was sold out the next day. So, I recommend you sign up as soon as you can! The second excursion we signed up was 4X4 safari touring the island. There were 8 of us. We all enjoyed the mountain ride up to the peak, and the view points along the way up and at the peak were majestic.

As with most tours, the time allowed was limited. I wish we had more time. The only part I personally did not care for was a stop at a souvenir/distiller shop. I am not into drinks or knick knacks. Drinks may be made from local fruits, but the Knick Knacks were mostly made in China. Most of our group made no purchase. That stop was a waste of time, in my opinion.

However, I did enjoy the tour guide’s illustrating how the local fresh fruit, flowers, plants are used in their daily life. For example, the ladies use shampoo flower for shampooing their silky thick hair; or use unripe rambatan fruit as paint or dye. How natural and organic! We also picked up and tried some ripe fruits, which have fallen off the trees. Love that!

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